Kitties, Bunnies, Chickens, Lions, Tigers & Bears…and Manatees, & Frogs & Fish & Ladybugs…

I’m obsessed…with…beanie…babies.  No, I never collected the dang things when they were all the rage about 20 years ago.  Between 1995 and 2000 prices were sky-high, and middle-aged women were beating each other with their handbags all over this great land to nab a precious “Princess” or “Valentino” or (GASP) the rare and valuable Royal Blue Peanut!  I was oblivious.  At that time, I was an avid doll collector.  My collection mainly included Lenci and Sashas, and you can google these if you’re interested.  They’re obscure dolls that only a weirdo would collect, but this weirdo really loved them and had over 100 dollies back in my heyday.  I started thinning the herd about 10 years ago when I figured out eBay and I only have a handful left.  Here are a couple of my babies on auction right now.

This is Modestina.  She's from Italy and made of felt.

This is Modestina. She’s a Lenci doll from Italy and made entirely of felt.

Prince Gregor, from the UK.  He's a Sasha doll.

Prince Gregor, from the UK. He’s a Sasha doll.

How did all this get started?  Well, I was trolling antique stores in Montgomery for a little table for my 1940s phone when I stumbled upon a huge Rubbermaid bin of beanies.  I curiously pawed through a few of them and found a delightful little chicken for 99 cents.  Well, who could pass that up, right?  I dug deeper and found a cute cat and a bunny also for 99 cents.  They were clean and still had their tags.  Thinking myself a fortunate woman I purchased my treasures and took them home.  I got curious about their value so I looked them up on eBay and lo and behold, there is still a rabid group of collectors who will pay a bit of coin for these critters.

I have no intention of trying to make buck off of my new obsession, but I will admit that it is thrilling to find these little guys for $1, $2, & $3 dollars in a local antique/junk store.  I caught the bug and began to scour Montgomery for cheap beanies, and you’d be quite surprised at how many I’ve been able to find.  Jim is surprisingly OK with my new hobby.  It doesn’t bother him too much that I’m now hunting down toys that you can buy with pocket change instead of ones that cost in the hundreds of dollars.  Plus Beanie Babies take up much less room than full-sized dolls so I can get MANY, MANY MORE!

Yes, I've gone completely insane.

Yes, I’ve gone completely insane.

Jim made me this bookcase right after we were married and it used to house a large collection of children’s lit.  I have a whole room upstairs filled with toys and decorated for a grandchild I am still patiently waiting for.

...and getting no cooperation from this one.

…and getting no cooperation from this one.

Sometimes kids come over with their parents and I let them loose in this room for an hour or two.

More Beanies!

More Beanies!

I have a great collection of Brio trains and track, some great stuffed aminals and a secret closet set up like a little clubhouse with a play kitchen and baby bed.  Come over anytime and bring a rug rat with you for some fun.

Jim shot this moose on a hunting trip.  JUST KIDDING!  it's a stuffed toy! :)

Jim shot this moose on a hunting trip. JUST KIDDING! it’s a stuffed toy! 🙂

Can you even imagine Jim killing anything?  Sheesh!

Frogs & Bunnies and Turtles OH MY!

Frogs & Bunnies and Turtles OH MY!

Sweet dreams.

Sweet dreams.

This rug reminds me of my sweet kitty Bootsie. :(

This rug reminds me of my sweet kitty Bootsie. 😦

Reading nook.

Reading nook.

I spend way too much time creating a spreadsheet with all the pertinent info (name, year created, retired misc. info, etc.) and I make little arrangements all over the house staring my favorites.  My husband and even my animals think I’ve completely lost it.  Mr. Mulder cannot for the life of him, understand why a grown up woman would want to have a stuffed toy when she has the real thing already!

Mamma's gone cray cray.

Mamma’s gone cray cray.

OK, maybe this is a passing phase and I’ll come to my senses soon.  In the meantime, if you have any Beanies from your misspent youth, and you’re looking to find a new home for them, who ya gonna call? 🙂

Old Stuff

 

No this is not a post about Jim.  I recently acquired a couple of household necessities that harken from the olden days.  I’ve always wanted a rotary dial phone that’s been restored and can be used with modern phone lines.  I found a company that refurbishes just about any kind of phone you can imagine so I did some research to find out exactly what kind I wanted.  I love old movies and I wanted a phone that evoked that 1940’s era.  I settled on the Western Electric 302.

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING!

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING!

The Model 302 was manufactured in the United States from 1936 until production of entirely new units ceased about 1954.  However, units were routinely refurbished at least until 1958.  It was the first widely used American telephone to include the ringer and network circuitry in the same telephone housing. (Thank you Wikipedia!)  It has gained the nick name “The Lucy Phone” because it’s featured in the I Love Lucy TV show.  If you’ll recall, Andy & Aunt Bea had a phone with a separate earpiece.  So when Andy called Helen Crump to ask for a date to Mount Pylant he had to talk into the wall unit and hold the receiver to his ear. Even then, Sarah was probably on the other line listening in.

I wanted to take some pictures of someone talking on the phone evoking the emotional convos you might witness in a Humphrey Bogart film noir or a lighthearted comedy starring Jimmy Stewart.  I thought about hiring a professional actress with great range to exhibit the different types of calls seen in old movies, but all I could get was this goober and I guess she did the best she could.

Wut up homies!

Wut up homies!

This is her attempt to look serious and concerned…

Oh no, you mean I only have two months to live???

Oh no, you mean I only have two months to live???

And here is her pathetic attempt to look surprised and delighted…

Seriously?  They found a cure???

Seriously? They found a cure???

Enough of that nonsense!  Bottom line, I really love this old phone.  It feels heavy and solid and I enjoy turning that rotary dial 11 times to call my mommy in Mississippi.  And that ring???  Man, it brings me back to my childhood! 🙂

The other “old thing” I added to my casa was an antique mantle clock.  I got it for a steal on Ebay and it took forever to get here from Germany, but it was worth it.  It’s a JUNGHANS clock manufactured sometime in the late 20s/early 30s.  I wish someone would let me know how to pronounce that name. (Anyone?)  It looks great on my mantle and it bongs the time every hour and once on the half hour.  The “tick tock tick tock” is lovely to hear also.

Kinda "art-deco" right?

Kinda “art-deco” right?

I edited the picture with a sepia effect to make it look old-timey.

Am I an ARTISTE or what?

Am I an ARTISTE or what?

So that’s it for my newly acquired old stuff…wait, you say this is a blog about animals, so what does all this have to do with kitties, bunnies & chickens.  Nothing, but it’s my blog so deal with it!  OK, here you go…

Here's a kitty & a bunny.

Here’s a kitty & a bunny.

And here’s a pretty good lookin’ chicken…

:)

🙂

Satisfied?

 

 

 

Kitties, Bunnies, Chickens & BATS!

Last week, Jim was awakened from his slumber by a fluttering/bonking sound.  At 3:00 am he got out of bed and entered the bat cave (our bathroom) to investigate.  Sammy was batting wildly at some flying thing that was crashing into the walls and swirling violently back into the air.  He soon ascertained that the creature was a bat.  After a long while he was able to capture the little guy in a towel and set him free in the back yard.  I slept through the event and was blissfully unaware of my husband’s valiant duel with the chiroptera. (I googled it)  Brave Jimmy got back in bed and slept for another hour when the same sound woke him again.  Mr. Bat’s wife was stuck in the tub and was unable to get enough traction to fly out.  How do I know it was a female?  I don’t, but of course the story is much better this way.  It was an obviously smaller critter and less athletically inclined so let’s assume she was his lady friend.  She was much easier to capture, and again, he set her free into the Alabama night to pursue her batty pursuits.  This made for a great story the next morning and I was quite impressed with Jim’s bat wrangling skills.

The saga continued the next night when Sammy was again going crazy over some flying thing, but this time it was in the living room.  Mr. Mulder headed for the hills.  He wanted no part in this scary flying monster and he hid in an undisclosed location for a long while.

Biggest...Bug...EVER!

Biggest…Bug…EVER!

Rowdy was completely uninterested in the commotion and continued to watch her favorite program on the telly.

I tot I taw a puddy tat!

I tot I taw a puddy tat!

Jim was in the kitchen preparing my dinner, (I like it when a man knows his place) so he dropped his spatula and grabbed a dish towel.  He was eventually able to shoo Dracula out the back door and we shut every orifice we could think of in our house.  This only trapped bat # 2 indoors and this time I got in on the action.  I managed to capture this little black bloodsucker and held her long enough for Jim to snap a picture.

I've heard of bats in the belfry, but bats in the bathroom?

I’ve heard of bats in the belfry, but bats in the bathroom?

The photo is lousy, but my prisoner was in no mood for a photo shoot so this is the best we could get.  These things are kinda scary lookin’ in the face but cute at the same time.  We were able to figure out that they were flying into our shower window.  We have a small crank window in there that we usually keep cracked to let out moisture.  (This would also explain the exotic tree frog clinging to my shower wall last spring.)

I have to admit that the next night I was a little disappointed that our visitors did not return.  There’s hardly ever a dull moment here for some reason, but I like it that way.  Sammy agrees.

I coulda taken 'em!

I coulda taken ’em!

Rowdy’s Ottoman Empire

Hi.  My name is  Rowdy and this is my ottoman.

Hi. My name is
Rowdy and this is my ottoman.

My person put it here so I can watch TV better.  I like Looney Toons (pre-1950), anything on the Animal Planet, & Documentaries about birds.

My person put it here so I can watch TV better. I like Looney Toons (pre-1950), anything on the Animal Planet, & Documentaries about birds.

I love my ottoman so much that I spend most of the day here thinking about stuff and getting much needed rest.

I love my ottoman so much that I spend most of the day here thinking about stuff and getting much needed rest.

My person is worried that I don't get enough exercise so I try to do stretches on my ottoman between TV shows.

My person is worried that I don’t get enough exercise so I try to do stretches between TV shows.

I've always been good at stretches!

I’ve always been good at stretches!

But mostly I just like to sleep here and I don't let anyone share either because I need all the room for myself.

But mostly I just like to sleep here, and I don’t let anyone share because I need all the room for myself.

When I was a baby there was room for lots of friends.

When I was a baby there was room for lots of friends.

My sister Sammy and I were always together when we were babies.

My sister Sammy and I were always together when we were babies.

Sammy took care of me because I was the runt and she was the biggest, smartest kitten.

Sammy took care of me because I was the runt and she was the biggest, smartest kitten.

We used to sleep with this other kitten who lived here for a while.  She was nice, but she smelled funny

We used to sleep with this other kitten who lived here for a while. She was nice, but she smelled funny

 

The bathroom sink was a favorite when I was little.

The bathroom sink was a favorite when I was little.

Still is, but the sink got a lot smaller.

Still is, but the sink got a lot smaller.

There’s just more of you to love Wowdy! 🙂